Two local GAA clubs have been targeted in less than a week by well-equipped thieves.
Both clubs fear the robbers, who turned up with angle-grinders to cut through steel doors and a safe at one club, are from the local community.
Clan na Gael in Lurgan was robbed on Bank Holiday Monday and less than a week later, on Sunday night, cash was taken Eire Og in Craigavon following a break-in.
Chairman at Clan na Gael, Noel O’Hagan, said: “They cut the telephone wires outside to disable the alarm then cut holes through steel doors and into a safe. They knew exactly what they were after and what they needed to bring with them. They knew too much. I’d say they’re from the local community.”
He continued: “They were probably hoping to get the takings from the Bank Holiday weekend, but all that was in the safe was the float. Only we’d lifted the weekend’s takings they’d have been away with thousands.”
Noel estimated the damage caused plus the money stolen amounted to close to £2,000.
He commented: “I’d say we’ve been hit four times over the past 10 years. We’ve spent an absolute fortune to keep them out - steel doors, iron bars and a safe. There’s nothing more we can do. We’re at our wit’s end.”
Martin Hoey, chairman of Eire Og, commented: “The underlying feeling was that it was someone from the local community with reasonable knowledge of the building.
“They took some money and the rest was just damage to external and internal doors, the alarm and CCTV.
“The whole club is voluntary. From the bar staff to the coaches. Everyone gives their time for free to helping to give back something to the young people in the community.
“Coming after a particularly busy weekend, this is a big blow.”
Police in Craigavon are appealing for information following the latest break-in at Eire Og hall on Tullygally East Road.
Police are appealing to anyone who noticed any activity or vehicles around the club during this time to contact them on the 101 non-emergency number, quoting ref: 394190514. If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.